Definition of catafalque in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkatəfalk/


A decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state.
Example sentences
  • It was 11.15 am when the bearer party, their faces strained in concentration, came into the crisp, morning sunlight having lifted the coffin from the catafalque in the great Westminster Hall where it had rested since Friday.
  • The bearer party lifts the coffin from the catafalque in Westminster Hall and carries it to the gun carriage outside the North Door.
  • Over the weekend his body lay in state in a silver mounted coffin on a catafalque in front of the Speaker's platform.


Mid 17th century: from French, from Italian catafalco, of unknown origin. Compare with scaffold.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cata|falque

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